New marketing channels and technologies pop up all the time, with growing volumes of information and data coming at us from all directions. Being a modern marketer today means having to handle, analyse and act on information from dozens of disparate sources, systems and channel. However, up until now one crucial piece has been largely neglected.
What about what’s happening in the real, offline world? After all, most of your customers’ activity still happens offline – 90% of retail sales, in fact.
Without offline data to tie all your web and social interactions back to real-life transactions and people, you’re essentially making important decisions with incomplete intel. Without a complete picture of your customers’ journeys, that makes a lot of important things really difficult.
This impacts everything from your ability to accurately measure how your online spend impacts offline behaviour, to personalising interactions with different segments of your audience.
The key to unlocking the real world
Data onboarding, or data connectivity, is the service that connects online and offline customer data to digital applications and platforms in a privacy-safe way.
Sounds like a simple enough idea, but the impact of data onboarding is immense.
Firstly, it unlocks smart audience segmentation across channels and devices, for consistent, seamless messaging. And on top of that, it also maximises the relevance of those communications for better conversion rates, while bolstering efficiency of your digital marketing activity as a whole.
Three major use cases for data onboarding
1. Control content visibility
What you don’t show visitors can often be as important as what you do! Ad suppression lets you withhold certain content from certain people, for a better customer experience and more cost-efficient campaigns.
For example, an airline wanted to run a digital campaign to grow its frequent flyer program, so naturally it didn’t want to target people already on the program. Leveraging data onboarding, the team was able to anonymously match customer data to visitor devices at an individual and household level, ensuring content wasn’t shown to customers who were already signed up.
2. Close the loop on reporting
Sometimes marketing content has an effect of delayed gratification – your customer might see an ad for your sunglasses but not purchase until weeks later when buying a birthday gift for a friend.
How do you make the connection between the ad and the purchase after such a long period of time?In one case, a retail company running banner ads has this exact dilemma. By connecting its offline data, they could link sales back to online ads – even if they happened weeks later. A full, accurate view of attribution means you can analyse the true conversion impact of your spend.
3. Personalise and optimise
Data onboarding allows you to optimise your content even if your audience isn’t logged in.
A large ‘big box’ retailer was struggling to measure the impact of their new digital programs on in-store sales. Onboarding their offline first-party customer data into a number of marketing applications, they were able to measure campaign performance more accurately thanks to channel mix attribution that proved which online tactics were driving in-store transactions.
This resulted in a 40 per cent increase in conversion rates for in-store purchases, a 35 per cent reduction in customer CPA and a 30 per cent increase in ROI.
The importance of deterministic, anonymous onboarding
With customers completing transactions across multiple devices and locations, it’s hard to know for sure you’re targeting who you think you are. That’s why probabilistic onboarding sometimes isn’t enough. Rather, deterministic, authenticated linkages enable marketers to get exact, reliable 1-to-1 matching of customers to devices.
We’re all about creating relevant, personalised experiences – but never at the expense of customer privacy!
Data onboarding needs foolproof anonymisation built in, ensuring no personally identifiable information is ever transferred to online marketing platforms. Because if your marketing operation isn’t privacy safe, it isn’t sustainable.
Get on board with onboarding
As a modern marketer, you know that the experiences you create for customers are increasingly crafted, tested and delivered online – but that’s only part of the story.
Until we connect our offline and online worlds, we’re flying half-blind.
Data onboarding is making massive inroads into helping deliver more targeted, personalised and measurable experiences in today’s omnichannel world.
It’s a smart way to make crucial decisions based on a fuller view of what’s going on, resulting in far more relevant marketing, and a better experience for both the consumer and the brand.
LiveRamp MD of Asia Pacific emerging markets Dean Capobianco